Coronavirus update 24 March 2020

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24 March 2020    

Message from Hounslow Council 

Cllr Curran

Everyone will now be aware that we are in lock down to protect our most vulnerable residents and the NHS from coronavirus. The Prime Minister announced last night that we must all stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work which we can’t do from home. When we are out, we must stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people, and wash our hands as soon as we get home.

This is not a request, it is a direction that we all must follow. I know many people were already being responsible and following the Government and NHS guidance around staying at home, social distancing and not opening businesses. However, there has remained a level of complacency among some which is unacceptable. We all have a responsibility to follow the directions from Government to try to keep ourselves and others free from infection and protect our most vulnerable residents and the NHS.

The Council is still working and delivering frontline services, though with the majority of staff working from home, and we’re in regular contact with our local partners, particularly those in the NHS, as well as Public Health England and the Government. Our formal response detailing the many measures we’re taking to protect the public, deliver frontline services and set up robust structures to continue managing the situation will be published over the coming days.

Our enforcement teams and the police will be patrolling the borough and taking action against any people or businesses contravening these directions. I make no apologies whatsoever if people feel these measures are a bit extreme. Now is not a time for sensitivities, it’s the time to save lives.

It’s so important that, as a borough, we all pull together and I want to thank everyone who has gone above and beyond in their efforts. I’m very proud of the residents and businesses of Hounslow and I’m sure, if we all work together over these coming weeks, we will be stronger for it.

Cllr Curran signoff

Council Tax support

During the current coronavirus crisis we will look sympathetically on any resident struggling with their Council Tax payments and will treat each situation on a case by case basis. In the first instance we will extend the instalments from 10 to 12 months and we will work with individual customers by reviewing their income and expenditure and then agreeing a suitable repayment plan which can be reviewed regularly. More information and support available here.

Support for businesses

We continue to update businesses on the support available and today wrote to them all highlighting the latest information and schemes they may be eligible for. For the latest information visit our website.

Schools and children’s centres

If you're not a 'key worker' whose role is critical to coronavirus response, please keep your child at home, please don't take them to school.

We know the current situation can be challenging and safety is important to you and your family. We’ve been in regular contact with headteachers, private, voluntary and independent nurseries as well as children’s centres to support them in being open and available for the borough’s NHS and frontline emergency worker’s as well as those that are most vulnerable.

Information on schools and childrens’ centres, key worker status and childcare is available here.

Playgrounds and play areas closed in parks

To support the Government’s social distancing measures, playgrounds and play areas within parks have been closed. Social distancing means staying at least two metres away from people you do not live with – without exception.

Community hub opening soon

We are progressing the Community Hub and will take a phased approach to implementation. The first phase is to set up the webpage, which is currently undergoing development and testing. The webpage will contain information on who the Hub is for, how it will support them, and how it will be used. The second phase is roll out a phone number and central email address. The third phase will be a physical centre in Hounslow which is anticipated to be running by the end of the week. We are awaiting final data from central Government to confirm the cohort of residents.

Latest information and advice

The Council has a coronavirus advice webpage which is updated daily with the latest information.

You can also follow us on social media using the links below.

The latest information on coronavirus in general is available on the Government’s website.

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